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Hard Decisions: Penn, Tufts, Pacific, Nova...

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by cybermech, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. cybermech

    7+ Year Member

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    I know it's probably too soon to start worrying about dental school selection, but I've heard back from all of my top choices, and decided that I wanted to send out a deposit before Christmas, as I'd like to have a "relaxing" holiday season.

    I have acceptances from Penn, Tufts, Pacific, Nova, and Creighton.

    I'm looking to specialize (perio perhaps), though looking at my performance in college and on the DAT, it's unlikely that I'll be in the top 25% at an elite school.

    My advisor mentioned that I should go to Penn because of it's reputation. My dad (a dentist) says I should should go to Tufts because its stats are a bit less and I'd have a competitive advantage.

    I have no idea what to think anymore. Any recommendation, ideas, suggestions, insight?
     
  2. ak47

    ak47 flossy flossy
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    thats ridiculous! you have a 22/20 on the DAT and a 3.6ish and you don't think that's competitive! don't be scared off by Penn's name and the eliteness of it...if you got in, they obviously think you can succeed there so you should accept the offer at the school think you would be most successful at. these schools are all ove the place (philly, boston, FL, omaha) --> where are you from and do you care if you're far away from home? does cost matter to you?

    i think you gotta change your attitude about not being able to be at the top at an elite school. good luck
     
  3. DrOops

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    I would go for Tufts. It's a prestigious school, in a nice area (gotta love Boston), and you have a better chance of specializing.
     
  4. jntruong2003

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    Wow! Congrats on your success!

    If i had a choice, I would choose UOP, but then each school has its advantages.

    UOP is located in San Francisco and is definitely a place many people love to go to. The tuition is cheaper because the school is only 3 years and thus you can get your perio spec. faster. Getting out of school faster = lesser loans, more experience as a dentist longer, and being a younger dentist =)

    Remember, all dental schools have smart people and you can't just assume that other schools will be easier. It truly depends on many things- the faculty, how well you work w/ their teaching style, your environment that you thrive it, the community, your comfort there, EVERYTHING! Remember you will be attending that school for 3+ years!

    I wouldn't go to Creighton unless I was Catholic or am interested in the faith or Penn if I just wanted to let others know that I go to an Ivy Leaugue School.

    Nova, I wouldn't like the humidity and I don't know much of the school. Same goes to Tufts. But I truly think that the type of environment and location plays a very critical role in your success and happiness =)

    As I said, think about happiness first. Happiness brings success!! Good Luck!
     
  5. supraman

    supraman Boston Celtics
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    Go to Penn
     
  6. ROSE1010

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    Tufts, you will have a good chance of specializing and it is a nice area.
     
  7. Dentista08

    Dentista08 looking for a practice!
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    Thats what I thought! haha except the tuition is still for 4 years of school even though you graduate in 3. So it's actually one of the most expensive schools =(
     
  8. 206127

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    Uop.....
     
  9. dentalgrl

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    Definitely go to Penn!! Don't be afraid of not being competitive...you'll work hard and get what you want if you really want it.
     
  10. Oracle DMD

    Oracle DMD Chuck NOracle DMD
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    UOP. easy day. getting in the top of the class is great but a rec from your faculty is important too. id go to UOP for the faculty and the way you're treated...like a doc. they're doing well over there!
     
  11. theroadshow

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    UoP is the clear leader amongst that list of schools.
     
  12. rewJW

    rewJW surviving
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    I work with a dentist who went to and later taught at UPenn. Her advice to me was .. go wherever is cheapest. You can get into residencies regardless of where you get your DMD/DDS as long as you work hard, and once you have your degree, it doesn't matter if you went to an expensive ivy vs. a state school ... you'll still get about the same payments for procedures as any other dentist from medicaid and insurances, etc. (Acceptions to every rule, of course, but you get the idea.)

    Oh, and I'll add that I work also with a few dentists who went to NYU and one told me today she wishes she had gone to UMDNJ, where she was also accepted, because she would have ultimately ended up in the same place (as a dentist) and had far fewer dollars in loans to pay off.
     
  13. DiNoZeRo2o9

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    Out of those schools, I would eliminate Creighton and Nova

    Creighton: well I think anyone can garner why. Wonder why it is the only school out of the list of 5 no one has yet to recommend? :whistle:

    Nova: Although it is a decent school, it is still fairly new and working out kinks and the reputation isn't GREAT yet, but respectable. However the weather and location is great, will remind you of your home state :)

    Out of the left over: Penn, Tufts, and Pacific I would say it is up to you, however I will also provide some opinion. My top two choices have always been Tufts and Pacific for the clinical experience and I believe they would prepare me the best.

    Also stop thinking that you aren't nearly qualified enough to make the top 25% of your class. My two orthodontists doing my Invisalign both weren't accepted to dental school until later in the cycle (one in May). In fact, one of them had a 3.1 undergrad GPA and they are both now great and successful orthodontists.

    I even asked this question during one of my interviews "Do you see a correlation between the top dental school applicants and the top of the class upon graduation?"

    Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Many factors come into play when you are in dental school, two of the biggest being motivation and time management. If you want it specialize, you will if you are dedicated.

    Ok now for my small snippet of each school:

    Cost friendly: UoP, all three schools are expensive, but UoP three years = more earning potential

    Clinical: Tufts and UoP, but I would put UoP a bit above.

    Location: UoP. San Francisco and California is a great place to be for three years. Boston is nice, but a little too cold

    Research: U of Penn for sure.

    Grading/Ranking System: U of Penn is Pass/No Pass if that floats your boat

    Reputation: UoP. The humanistic approach is just too nice to pass up, and it has created a healthy environment and the school is known and respected for it.

    X-Factor: UoP. Three years. Only school in the nation who can do it. Hard to argue against that.
     
  14. Imanee

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    Just a correction: UPenn has letter grades and ranks their students.
    My advice go to the school you want. Don't be afraid. You will succeed anywhere if you study hard. :luck:
     
  15. hoss19

    hoss19 half iron, half man
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    go to the school that you had the best chemistry with. you cant go wrong.

    but if you really know you want to specialize, go to Penn.
     
  16. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets
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    If you want to specialize avoid UoP. Because their program is only 3 years their students have a difficult time getting a residency (or so I heard). Go to Penn, they have ridiculous specialization rates. All of the ivies have a distinct advantage over the non ivies when it comes to obtaining a residency in the location of your choice.
     
  17. jiggajoe2

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    to be honest...i think if you have even a small desire to specialize you should try to go to the school with the best opportunity for you to specialize (penn). If you are scared you wont be able to score well enough or whatever...then worry about it when you get to that point. But I think you would be selling yourself short to desire a residency but not go for it!!
     
  18. MissionDental

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    How about considering which city you'd prefer to live in for at least four years? I know that would help me further eliminate a couple options...
     
  19. DiNoZeRo2o9

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    Sorry about that, I was under the impression all Ivies were P/NP

    As for the comment about UoP having a hard time to specialize, that is absolutely false. We get equal amount, if not more clinical training. Our didactics is what is condensed, not our clinical. In fact, we have an advantage over most schools due to only having an ortho and oral surgery grad program (and the OS is located off campus).

    What does that mean? Who do you think gets to do that root canal on #32 thats decalcified? Yep, me.

    Who gets to do it at Penn? The endo post-grads

    Now when post-grad programs choose residents, they want people who they can teach quick to start doing what they do so they start making money. Who is easier to train, the guy who has performed 30 + root canals before, or the guy who has watched two and done one in a sim lab?

    Just food for thought. Other factors of course come into play for residencies, I am just saying UoP is by no means at a disadvantage.
     
  20. sl2obel2ts

    sl2obel2ts i like tomatoes
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    i would go to Penn if i have those choices. name, prestige, research/volunteer opportunities, high specialty rate.
     
  21. DCRedskinsRule

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    I would initially say Penn, but considering you're from HI, don't you think the move to the north east will be too dramatic of a change? UoP is a really good school and SF is an AMAZING city. Plus it's significantly closer to home in case you ever need to fly back for some reason. But, while 3 years sounds good....the thought of cramming everything even more than I have to do already sounds terrible if you ask me...:rolleyes:
     
  22. stillhere858

    stillhere858 do work son!
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    tough decision man, but at least you have the decision to make! I'd say Penn. Cool campus, cool city and not too far from other east coast cities. When I interviewed there I jumped up to NYC on the train and it wasn't even hard. high specialty rate if you want to keep the doors open. Ivy baller status. I got accepted there too..so I'm a little biased :D
     
  23. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Who in the heck would get a root canal on a wisdom tooth?? Yank that SOB! :laugh:

    I do agree that UoP isnt a disadvantage for specializing.

    First off, to the OP, if you want to go perio, you don't need to be that high in the rankings..as compared to OS or ortho.

    Here is my super easy advice on what school to go to: The cheapest one in a place you can stand to live in for 4(or 3) years....period.

    If you want to specialize, destroy the NBDE1, make some friends in the dept you wanna go into(if there is one) and get some good LOR's, do a little research maybe, don't be in the bottom half of your class(if its not P/F) and...bam! You're in perio. Don't get caught up in the rates of spec, that just means the people that go there want to spec beforehand. Look at harvard, they ALL specialize. You don't go there to be a GP. UoP has a lower spec rate because most just want to be in/out and making $ as a GP. Nutn wrong with that. I know a lot of UoP'ers in UCSF as post grads.

    I agree with an above poster, every dentist I talk to says the same thing. The only difference between a Columbia or Harvard grad and a <--insert a cheap school you think sucks--> grad is how much they pay every month in loans.


    My opinion...UoP cuz SF rocks! I needed some perio work @ UCSF and a dude from UoP did a kick arse job.
     
  24. PSU SHC 414

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    I know that I've raised this question (in one way or another) several times before, but I've never gotten a satisfactory answer, so this seems like a good time to bring it up again since I'm legitimately facing the same dilemma right now as acceptances roll in...

    Everyone talks about the Ivies (and a few other "notable" schools) having a high specialization rate, but when GPRs and AEGDs are NOT factored into those "95+%" specialization rates boasted by these schools, how much higher are the true specialization (endo, perio, prostho, ortho, OMFS, etc.) rates at these schools compared to others?

    What I basically want to know is just how much more of an advantage do these schools give to their students when it comes to specialization?

    Also, I think everyone agrees that regardless of where you go, you need to be at the top (10-15%) of your class in order to even think about specializing. So wouldn't logic suggest that by going to one of these "more prestigious" schoools, where the enrollees are likely to be more competitive (i.e. a higher percentage will be "gunners"), it'll be much more difficult to distinguish yourself in that upper tier of your class? And given that most of us will be taking the P/F version of the NBDE-I, aren't grades going to be more important than ever before when it comes to selecting candidates for specialty programs?

    Let's say that you do decide to go to Penn for example... b/c of the school's reputation, does this mean that you can be in the top 20-25% of your class and still specialize (vs at other schools where you NEED to be in the top 10%)?

    I know this post is packed with questions, but I appreciate any input!
     
  25. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets
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    The thing with the ivies is that 2/3 are pass fail so you can be the worst in you class but if you are passing your tests there will be a specialty at usually your furst or second choice. As for Penn which is letter graded, there is definitely more leniency so that you just need to be in say the top of your class to specialize while other schools you need to be say top 10%.
     
  26. PSU SHC 414

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    thanks klutzy... do you know this for a fact (with regard to Penn)?
     
  27. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets
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    I am not exactly sure of the exact numbers but Ive spoken to 2 residents in pedo who both graduated from penn and they said that in their class, every person that wanted to specialize did without having to first do a GPR with the exception of one guy that wanted to do a gpr. That sounds pretty good to me.
     
  28. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    Let me ask everyone a question. What's more important, the archer or the arrow?
     
  29. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    Funny, the same thing is true at Pacific. I'm betting it's, for the most part, true at basically every other dental school as well.
     
  30. cybermech

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    Soo, I've agonized over this decision and talked to people from Tufts, Penn, and Pacific. I feel that Tufts is the right school for me. Reasons why I like Tufts in no particular order:

    1) Boston is a nice city
    2) The students were nice and seemed happy
    3) Their facilities are nice (and they're adding 5 additional floors)
    4) People who want to get into specialties seem to be able to get in despite the fact that Tufts is more clinically oriented.
    5) I like their "group practice" system for clinic

    Reasons why I'll be declining Penn, in no particular order:

    1) Facilities were a bit old
    2) Students seemed seriously stressed out
    3) A lot of the faculty, being serious researchers, are impossible to get ahold of
    4) When the clinic renovation happens, it's likely that the D3/D4 students will be displaced into other facilities (perhaps trailers?)
    5) Philly is a pretty sketchy city, no matter how you look at it.

    Reason why I'll be declining Pacific, in no particular order:

    1) 3 years is not enough time for me, I'm no genius.
    2) I'd rather have a full summer to do research
    3) I wouldn't have time to do extracurriculars, which will likely be important in being competitive for specialties.
    5) The grading is quite spartan... for example, clinical is based on 3rd year (last year) standards.

    However, I must stress that I highly respect Pacific and Penn, and under different circumstances, I'd have picked either of them in a heartbeat. But I feel that Tufts is the right "fit" for me.

    I hope the discourse in this thread has been helpful for students with a similar decision.
     
  31. Ranelar

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    That's interesting because I thought Tufts had the least up to date facilities I had seen. Although the only other schools I saw were UNLV (brand new) and USC (should have tons I money based on what they charge :p). My impression was that the expasion wouldn't have a huge impact on Tufts students because it seemed geared at expanding specialty and office space. Yes, there will be 20 more chairs or something, but they're not replacing the old ones. All that said, I'm leaning towards Tufts as well :p
     
  32. BalloonDog

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    Actually there will be closer to 50 new chairs and they will be renovating the current clinic once the expansion is complete.
     

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